Revolving Door Database


There’s a terrific front page story today in the New York Times on the revolving door between former employees of the Department of Homeland Security (and other domestic security positions in the government) and the private sector. I was surprised — but not shocked — at the large numbers of high level officials who’ve served at this still young government agency who are now reaping big bucks in the private sector. The Times has posted the full list of former domestic security officials and where they are now working that they used for their study. but alas, it’s not in a searchable form. That’s a lost opportunity for others who might want to take what they’ve learned thus far and dig deeper.

But this is great work. I wonder how long it took Eric Lipton to do the background research. How many researchers did he have working on assembling the info? What were the source of information? I ask because this study is just one slice of the revolving door world and I wonder what it would take to have it done for every major government agency?

And these thoughts lead me to wonder whether there is a way to create a distributed revolving door research project, e.g. asking people throughout the country to help Sunlight determine where senior level administration figures used to work and tracking them as they leave the government for work in the private sector. Doing something like this for Sunlight would be an experiment but I’m intiruged on how we might do it. Any thoughts how we could make it happen? Leave your ideas in the comments section.